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BJP brushes aside exit poll predictions

Brushing aside exit polls that predicted a hung Parliament, BJP said it would return to power with a comfortable majority.
PTI | By Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 27, 2004 10:21 PM IST

Brushing aside exit polls that predicted a hung parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) maintained on Tuesday that the coalition it led would return to power with a comfortable majority.

Speaking to reporters, BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu expressed surprise at the exit poll results, saying they went against the findings of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

"Our own findings show that the NDA will garner 300 seats and the BJP will get 200 seats on its own. The Congress will not even reach a century," Naidu maintained.

Naidu's prediction of 200 seats for the BJP is 100 lower than what the party had earlier projected.

Asserting that the BJP-led alliance would repeat its 1999 election performance, Naidu dismissed the need for seeking post-poll alliances to form a Government.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hinted at the need for forging post-poll alliances outside the NDA to form a Government.

Claiming that the BJP was on its way to form its first Government in Karnataka, Naidu said: "My party's alliance (with the Telugu Desam Party) in Andhra Pradesh is also doing very well."

Describing the Congress as 'strange' for welcoming the exit polls after initially demanding a ban on such polls, he said: "It (Congress) is building castles in the air by interpreting the findings of the exit polls."

"However, they will continue to sit at the same place in the Lok Sabha, where they are now (in the opposition benches)."

At least two exit polls at the end of the third phase of the country's staggered general election on Monday had predicted a hung parliament with the ruling NDA tipped to get only 235-255 seats and the Congress-led alliance 190-210 seats.

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